The Kobo Wifi is overpriced

So Kobo announced their new ereader today, and I bet they’re hoping everyone will focus on the fact that the new Kobo Wifi is offered at $139, the same price as the Nook Wifi and Kindle Wifi. It cost too much. I wasn’t awake enough when I wrote about the press release to comment on the price, but now I can see that Kobo are offering a significantly less capable ereader for $139.

The Nook Wifi ships with a touchscreen and web browser. If you hack it you will have a rather cute little web tablet (with lots of apps). But even if you don’t, you still have more annotation abilities than the Kobo ereader as well as a nice browsing experience.

The Kindle Wifi has a keyboard and browser as well as access to the largest ebookstore anywhere. I won’t go over all its features (you probably know what they are.)

The Kobo Wifi lets you visit the Kobo ebookstore, but there’s really no way to browse other sites (because you can’t enter a URL). I’m surprised that Kobo didn’t think to include a touch screen. That would have opened up a lot of possibilities.

When you line them up, it’s quite clear that the Kobo Wifi can’t match the abilities of the other 2 $139 ereaders. I really think Kobo should drop the price to $119.

What do you think?

Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills weekly. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.


  1. Mike Cane29 September, 2010

    Actually, I was surprised they came in at $139. I’d like to see them drop the wired model to $99 now! Do I think they’re overpriced? Weighs less than Nook; has a larger marketing footprint than Nook; yeah, lacks notes and stuff, but I’m not sure anyone other than Kindle does that right now anyway — highlighting to the Cloud is Killer. Compared to Kindle, you can say the Nook is way overpriced, in fact.

    1. Nate the great29 September, 2010

      But you can hack the Nook (and it has a pretty decent browser).

      1. Mike Cane29 September, 2010

        Unless something has changed, it’s only earlier models that can be hacked. I thought B&N changed the firmware to make it unhackable now.

  2. Alexander Inglis29 September, 2010

    I’m not suggesting this thing is better than sliced bread. But it does provide a different user experience than Kindle, Nook and Sony and at the low end price point. It definitely stays in the running.

    Kobo is pursuing a different device strategy than Nook or Sony: in addition to its own eink reader, it has puts its software on other devices like the colour Literati at $159. With wifi, it not only allows for instant download of purchases, it enables bookmark linking across all devices. It already has Kobo apps on Samsung Android phones and Tablet, on Blackberry, iPhone and iPad.

    Kobo isn’t Kindle — by focusing on so-called “open” ePub, it provides a solid alternative to Kindle and access to library books. And the Kobo bookstore has “localised” content for US, UK, NZ, Australia and Canadian markets.

    Kobo isn’t Nook — it is sold outside the US and by leading bookstore partners in major english-speaking markets. Nor is Kobo aimed at the “let’s root this device” market: it’s for folks who want to use it as is right out of the box.

    And Kobo certainly isn’t Sony. Yes, it lacks a touch screeen but it has wifi content delivery and syncing … at considerably lower price.

    So, no: I don’t agree the $139 Kobo wifi is over-priced. It brings a different value proposition to the market and clear differences between it and leading competitors in and out of the US market.

    1. Mike Cane29 September, 2010

      Erm… Literati and Cruz devices are best left unmentioned as selling points. Those devices will not increase Kobo’s stature due to the fact they’re both crap.

  3. Andrew29 September, 2010

    The price is for Canadians at $149 however even then a Kindle can be purchased for under $10 more after Ccanadian taxes.

    I don’t care too much for annotating (though it’s a nice feature) but the new kobo needs to have pdf reflow, a goto page and keyword search.

  4. Zigwalski29 September, 2010

    The Sony’s have note adding features more advanced than the Kindle. You can actually write on the screen.

    Kobo bookstore has very good prices from what I have seen. They have run a few specials and I have purchased some books from them.

    The problem with the Kobo was speed. The new one is suppose to be faster.

  5. Jonah7 October, 2010

    Do not buy a Kobo reader! They sound great and the price is right but actually using it every day will frustrate you. Their eReader’s are buggy as hell and don’t function as advertised.

    They make first rate smartphone and tablet apps though.

  6. Tony Mason27 December, 2010

    I have a kindle and a kobo and I read them all the time. There is no point in comparing the two except as an exercise in derision besides I can port books between the two using Calibre. The epub format, as it stands now, is a dog like the Kobo is a dog.

  7. bloozguy16 November, 2013

    What is truly overpriced is ebooks …100% Less paper, more expensive than even the hardcover.


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